This day in history: Serial killer Aileen Wuornos meets first victim, a Clearwater man

Crime

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — On this day 31 years ago, a Clearwater man became the first to meet his fate at the hands of ”America’s first female serial killer.”

On Nov. 30, 1989, Richard Mallory locked up his business, a TV repair store in Palm Harbor, and made his way onto Interstate 4 to head toward Volusia County.

The next day, Mallory’s car – which contained his wallet, some condoms and an empty vodka bottle – was found abandoned on Ormond Beach. Two weeks later, his body was found in a Daytona Beach junkyard.

Mallory was the first known victim of Aileen Wuornos, the first woman ever profiled by the FBI as a serial killer, who is often referred to, mistakenly, as America’s first female serial killer.

Serial Killer Aileen Wuornos waves to members of the court and thanks the judge in Ocala, Florida Thursday afternoon February 22, 2001. (AP Photo/Doug Engle)

Wuornos had been working as a prostitute along Florida’s highways. Her modus operandi was to approach unsuspecting men under the guise of needing a ride before robbing and shooting them to death.

She reportedly shot Mallory, her first victim, with a .22-caliber pistol she kept in her purse.

Wuronos confessed to killing Mallory and six other men while engaging in sex work along Florida’s Interstate 75 corridor. She was only found guilty of killing six, as the body of the seventh was never found.

At her trial, Wuronos testified that she killed her victims in self-defense and claimed Mallory had raped, beat and sodomized her, but later recanted.

Mallory did have a history of sexual violence. In 1957, he reportedly broke into a Maryland woman’s home, grabbed her from behind and tried to assault her. After pleading insanity, he served a 10-year stint at a prison mental institution.

Wuornos was raised by her grandparents and claimed she was sexually abused by her grandfather as a teen. Her father, a convicted child molester, committed suicide in prison.

Wuornos was sentenced to death for the murders and was executed by lethal injection on Oct. 9, 2002.

Actress Charlize Theron’s portrayal of Wuornos in the 2003 film “Monster” won her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

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